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Articles by Melissa Sweet

What is an ethical response to the “torture” of immigration detention?

The ethical dilemmas that face health professionals involved in systems that support or profit from the mandatory detention of asylum seekers were explored recently by lawyer Brynn O’Brien in this must-read article for Australian Doctor. She wrote: “The  ‘detention industry’ – the private infrastructure that supports and implements the government’s policy of mandatory detention – [...]

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If “granny” makes you think of an older woman, then you need to read this

The themes that have been celebrated today on National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day - including the importance of connection to culture for children’s wellbeing – must become part of the every-day of research, policymaking and service delivery. This is a particularly important message if you think “granny” means an elderly woman, writes Suzanne [...]

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MATES in Construction – harnessing the mateship culture to prevent suicide

Matthew Giles reports: As part of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth last week, Suicide Prevention Australia presented the LiFE Awards for Excellence in Suicide Prevention.  Among the usual crowd of public health professionals, doctors and academics was John Brady, a former construction worker and small business owner, whose organisation MATES in Construction [...]

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Learning how to prevent suicide by listening to the voices of experience

Matthew Giles reports: One of the concepts that will endure beyond the bounds of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference is the value of learning from the lived experience of suicide. Throughout the conference, attendees and presenters alike emphasised the need to include in research and prevention programs the voices of people who have survived [...]

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“We have a voice, and people are listening” – wrapping #IPCHIV14 and #AIDS2014

Marie McInerney reports: Among the stars at AIDS 2014, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, were Bill Clinton, Bob Geldof and, perhaps lesser known outside HIV circles, Professor Françoise Barré Sinoussi, outgoing President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Nobel Laureate who co-discovered HIV. So Simoussi’s formal visit to the Indigenous Networking [...]

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Indigenous HIV groups place future in hands of young and Elders

Marie McInerney reports: Elders and young people may hold the key to beating stigma and discrimination about HIV and AIDS and to promoting better prevention in Indigenous communities. Eleven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders from across Australia were special guests at the  International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS, held in the lead-up to [...]

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Focus on appropriate care and responses for those bereaved by suicide

Matt Giles reports “Postvention” may not be a term familiar to many people outside the field of suicide prevention, but it dominated day two of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth. The conference’s third plenary panel, Postvention is the Prevention of Suicide for the Future, emphasised the need for postvention, or care for [...]

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The “7 truths of resiliency” – decolonising HIV research in Canada

Marie McInerney reports: A Canadian Aboriginal project looking to map the resiliency of Aboriginal men who have lived with HIV and AIDS for ten years or more posed just one research question: “How are you living well with HIV?” Art Zoccole, Executive Director of the 2-Spirited People of the First Nations in Canada – a [...]

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Suicide prevention needs to be a priority during times of austerity: #NSPC14

Matthew Giles reports: The relationship between the economy and suicide prevention was under the spotlight yesterday during day one of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference, with a plenary panel addressing the topic. The discussion follows recent research suggesting that the economic crisis in Europe and North America was associated with at least an extra [...]

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How the global response to HIV/AIDS renders Indigenous peoples “invisible”

Marie McInerney reports: Australian Indigenous health researcher James Ward has called on the international HIV and AIDS community to identify Indigenous peoples as a “priority population”, warning that they are often invisible in international reports and declarations that shape HIV responses. He told AIDS 2014 – the 20th International AIDS Conference – in Melbourne on [...]

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